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Honda FCX Builds Hydrogen-Powered Future with History of Firsts
Honda has paced the industry in the development and application of hydrogen fuel cell technology as well as the refueling infrastructure that ultimately will be required to take it to the mass market.
Always, Honda has sought to apply its latest technology in real-world settings and to meet or exceed customers' expectations for the quality, reliability and safety of its fuel cell vehicles. Honda-developed technology has broken through technical barriers for fuel cell vehicles such as cold-weather start-up and operation. Uniquely, Honda is also developing technology to answer the "chicken and the egg" dilemma of the vehicle and the refueling infrastructure.
FCX (Fuel Cell Vehicle)
The FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel cell vehicle to also meet all safety standards in July 2002. The FCX was also the world's first production fuel cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan in October 2002. Additional highlights include:
- The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003).
- The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle placed in the hands of an individual customer, the Spallino family of Southern California (July 2005).
- The world's youngest fuel cell customer, 17-year-old actress Q'orianka Kilcher leased an FCX in March 2007, making her the first person ever whose first car was powered by hydrogen.
- In five years of use with fleet customers including government entities in California, Nevada and the state of New York, the FCX has performed well under often harsh conditions, with minimal service support even in the extreme heat of the Western deserts and the bitter cold of the Northeast.
Next-Generation Honda Fuel Cell Technology
Honda's next-generation fuel cell vehicle, based on the FCX Concept with Honda's V Flow stack, will be marketed to customers in the U.S. and Japan beginning in 2008.
- The next-generation sedan features a low center of gravity and a full-sized cabin, offering a level of driving pleasure and roomy interior previously unimaginable in a fuel cell vehicle.
- New Honda V Flow fuel cell stack delivers more power in less space with improved efficiency, power output, driving range, reliability and cold-weather performance.
- The compact form and vertical-orientation of the V Flow stack provide for a low-floor, low-riding, short-nose body that contributes to the vehicle's roomy sedan interior and futuristic appeal.
Hydrogen Home Energy Station and Improved Solar-Cell Technology
Uniquely, Honda is also developing technology to answer the "chicken and the egg" dilemma of the vehicle and the refueling infrastructure. This includes the third-generation of development of its experimental Home Energy Station and Honda-developed solar cell technology to power its own fuel cell vehicles in a completely carbon-free energy system
- Honda is testing the third-generation Home Energy Station at Honda R&D America's headquarters in Torrance, California, developed in partnership with Plug Power, Inc. A second-generation system is also in operation at Plug Power headquarters in Albany, NY.
- The Home Energy Station is a home refueling unit that provides hydrogen from natural gas for vehicle refueling, heat for domestic hot water use and electricity for the home.
- Honda R&D is also operating an experimental solar cell-powered hydrogen refueling station in Torrance, California. The station employs next-generation CIGS solar cells, developed by Honda Engineering Co., Ltd., which lowers the amount of non-renewable energy required for hydrogen production.